Earth Day 2017

Posted April 20, 2017 by cathyso3
Categories: Special Days

Tags: , , , , , ,

“The wealth of the nation is its air, water, soil, forests, minerals, rivers, lakes, oceans, scenic beauty, wildlife habitats and biodiversity… that’s all there is. That’s the whole economy. That’s where all the economic activity and jobs come from. These biological systems are the sustaining wealth of the world.” ~Gaylord Nelson

Gaylord Nelson, a popular political figure from Wisconsin, is the founder of Earth Day. He had the foresight to understand the need to protect our environment. On April 22, 1970, millions of Americans gathered to raise awareness about our environmental problems and demand that our elected officials see the necessity to do something about it.

This Saturday, April 22nd, we continue to celebrate Earth Day. The theme of this year’s event is Environmental and Climate Literacy.

Below are selected picture books to share with young readers to help them become more knowledgeable about our environment and to encourage them to take care of our earth’s precious gifts.

tidy

Tidy written and illustrated by Emily Gravett, Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers

watersong

Watersong written by Tim McCanna and illustrated by Richard Smythe, Simon & Schuster/Paula Wiseman Books

giant

The Lonely Giant written and illustrated by Sophie Ambrose, Candlewick Press

pond

Over and Under the Pond written by Kate Messner and illustrated by Christopher Silas Neal, Chronicle Books

bag

One Plastic Bag: IsatouCeesay and the Recycling Women of the Gambia written by Miranda Paul and illustrated by Elizabeth Zunon, Millbrook Press

wangari

Wangari’s Trees of Peace: A True Story from Africa written and illustrated by Jeanette Winter, Harcourt Children’s Books

green

What Does It Mean To Be Green? written by Rana DiOrio and illustrated by Chris Blair, March 4th Inc

garden

The Curious Garden written and illustrated by Peter Brown, Little, Brown Young Readers

lorax

The Lorax written and illustrated by Dr. Seuss, Random House Children’s Books

stew

Compost Stew: An A to Z Recipe for the Earth written by Mary McKenna Siddals and illustrated by Ashley Wolff, Tricycle Press

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s National Library Week

Posted April 13, 2017 by cathyso3
Categories: National Library Week

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“A library is not a luxury but one of the necessities of life.” ~ Henry Ward Beecher

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Town Library

It’s National Library Week. If you haven’t visited your local library recently, now is the time to do it. Libraries are a gift. Read what others have to say about libraries.

“Information helps you to see that you’re not alone. That there’s somebody in Mississippi and somebody in Tokyo who all have wept, who’ve all longed and lost, who’ve all been happy. So the library helps you to see, not only that you are not alone, but that you’re not really any different from everyone else.”          ~ Maya Angelou

photo 16dBoston Public Library

“Libraries store the energy that fuels the imagination. They open up windows to the world and inspire us to explore and achieve, and contribute to improving our quality of life.” ~Sidney Sheldon

scan0010School Library

“It is an awfully sad misconception that librarians simply check books in and out. The library is the heart of a school, and without a librarian, it is but an empty shell.” ~ Jarrett J. Krosoczka

IMG_0873Home Library

“As a kid, I would get my parents to drop me off at my local library on their way to work during the summer holidays, and I would walk home at night. For several years, I read the children’s library until I finished the children’s library. Then I moved into the adult library and slowly worked my way through them.” ~Neil Gaiman

photo 1 (61)Little Free Library

“A library is a good place to go when you feel unhappy, for there, in a book, you may find encouragement and comfort. A library is a good place to go when you feel bewildered or undecided, for there, in a book, you may have your question answered. Books are good company, in sad times and happy times, for books are people – people who have managed to stay alive by hiding between the covers of a book.” ~E.B. White

“Entering a library is like being welcomed into the comfort of home.”       ~Cathy Ogren

Support our libraries!

 

Hooked on Poetry

Posted April 6, 2017 by cathyso3
Categories: National Poetry Month

Tags: , , , , , , ,

April is National Poetry Month.

What is poetry?

If you ask a child, the answer most likely would be that poetry is something that rhymes. This is true, but we also know that poetry is much more than that. Let’s look at poetry from a child’s point of view. Poems that rhyme are fun because they have rhythm and beat. Kids get into that. If a poem is funny, that’s even a better incentive to get kids hooked on poetry. Exposure to different types of poetry is key to getting kids to read more, more, more.

Mother Goose rhymes are a great starting point to engage children. Most are short and can be acted out. Don’t delay. Unlock the door to poetry, step inside with your child, and enjoy. Take a gander at the poetry books below and see which ones tickle your fancy. There is something for everyone.

mother

Mary Engelbreit’s Mother Goose: One Hundred Best-Loved Verses illustrated by Mary Engelbreit, HarperCollins

lullaby.JPG

Lullaby & Kisses Sweet: Poems to Love with Your Baby selected by Lee Bennett Hopkins and illustrated by Alyssa Nassner, Abrams Appleseed, Board Books

kennedy

Poems to Learn by Heart selected by Caroline Kennedy and illustrated by Jon J. Muth, Disney Press

Patrick

Keep a Pocket in Your Poem: Classic Poems and Playful Parodies selected and written by J. Patrick Lewis and illustrated by Johanna Wright, Wordsong

beat

Feel the Beat: Dance Poems that Zing from Salsa to Swing written by Marilyn Singer and illustrated by Kristi Valiant, Dial Books

sidewalk

Where the Sidewalk Ends written and illustrated by Shel Silverstein

 

What Is Your Burning Question?

Posted March 30, 2017 by cathyso3
Categories: Special Days

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I know exactly what your burning question is:  Why is today special?

Today we celebrate Robert Wilhelm Eberhard Bunsen’s birthday. He was a chemist and the creator of the Bunsen Burner. You probably remember the Bunsen Burner from high school chemistry. It’s a gas burner used in labs, and it has a metal tube and with an adjustable air valve at the bottom. You might also remember singeing your eyebrows or hair if you got too close to the flame. Ouch!

Since this is also the end of Women’s History Month, I have the burning desire to celebrate Bunsen Burner Day and share a few more biographies of women who set the world on fire and made a difference in the field of science.

women in science

Women in Science:  50 Fearless Pioneers Who Changed the World written by Rachel Ignotofsky, Ten Speed Press

Magnificent minds

Magnificent Minds:  16 Pioneering Women in Science and Medicine written by Pendred E. Noyce, Tumblehome Learning, Inc.

hidden

Hidden Figures Young Readers’ Edition written by Margot Lee Shetterly, HarperCollins

Marie

Who Was Marie Curie? written by Megan Stine and illustrated by Nancy Harrison and Ted Hammond, Grosset & Dunlap

ideas

Ada’s Ideas:  The Story of Ada Lovelace, the World’s First Computer Programmer written and illustrated by Fiona Robinson, Abrams Books for Young Readers

Picture books worth reading:

ada

Ada Twist, Scientist written by Andrea Beaty and illustrated by David Roberts, Abrams Books for Young Readers

rosie

Rosie Revere, Engineer written by Andrea Beaty and illustrated by David Roberts, Abrams Books for Young Readers

Hot stuff here!

 

 

 

Tips for Writing Humor

Posted March 23, 2017 by cathyso3
Categories: Humor, Writing

Tags: , ,

You have an idea for a great picture book. It’s a funny idea. It’s so funny that tears of laughter run down your cheeks. You know this is the manuscript that will put your writing over the top, and you’ll soon be bringing in the big bucks. Go for it. Get that manuscript down on paper and get it out to the masses.

But before you begin on your laugh-out-loud masterpiece, here are a few tips you may want to keep in mind. There are elements in every humorous picture book that contribute to the humor.

Peter Pearson, the author of How to Eat an Airplane, knows humor. He suggests several ways it can be used in picture books. Humor happens when things don’t go together, when characters do unexpected things, when there is a unique premise, or when something totally unexpected happens. Humor also has to do with timing, pacing, and language.

With language, a variety of techniques can be incorporated into your writing to add humor. Think personification, alliteration, repetition, lively verbs, rhythm, rhyme, and onomatopoeia. Remember, too, that as a picture book, a child should be able to relate to it, and it should move along quickly with perfect page turns. And don’t forget to leave room for the illustrator to do his magic. Above all, your book needs to have some emotional level to which the reader can relate. It has to have heart!

There you go – tips for writing humor. They may sound simple, but simple is often deceiving. Get thee to a library and read all the humorous picture books you can find. In fact, read all types of picture books and then read some more.

Check out my last post for some examples of humor.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Books and Humor

Posted March 16, 2017 by cathyso3
Categories: Humor

Tags: , , ,

Humor is my armor. I tend to use it when something frightens me, when I’m nervous, when something sad happens, or when I just feel silly. So it may not surprise you that when it comes to picture books, humor is my first choice. A book that makes me laugh fills my heart with joy.

I’m participating in the fabulous Reading for Research Month Challenge (ReFoReMo). Informative daily posts accompanied by a list of mentor texts are provided for participants to read, research, and learn more about writing. I’m loving the list of books provided. Since I’m addicted to humorous books, below are a few of my favorites. If you want to put a smile on your face, check out these books.

Clever Humor

sparky

Sparky! written by Jenny Offill and illustrated by Chris Appelhans, Schwartz & Wade Books

worm

Diary of a Worm written by Doreen Cronin and illustrated by Harry Bliss, HarperCollins

Laugh Out Loud Funny

yam

I Yam A Donkey!  written and illustrated by Cece Bell, Clarion Books

bruce

Mother Bruce written and illustrated by Ryan T. Higgins, Disney-Hyperion

Simple Comic Humor

dust

Rhyming Dust Bunnies written and illustrated by Jan Thomas, Beach Lane Books

shh

Shh! We Have a Plan written and illustrated by Chris Haughton, Candlewick Press

bark

Bark, George written and illustrated by Jules Feiffer, HarperCollins

Quirky

i want

I Want My Hat Back written and illustrated by Jon Klassen, Candlewick Press

this is

This is Not My Hat written and illustrated by Jon Klassen, Candlewick Press

we found

We Found a Hat written and illustrated by Jon Klassen, Candlewick Press

March into Women’s History Month

Posted March 9, 2017 by cathyso3
Categories: Women In History Month

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

March is National Women’s History Month. The theme this year is “Honoring Trailblazing Women in Labor and Business.” No matter what career path women choose, they continue to make a huge difference in our world. Whether women are stay-at-home moms, in the workforce, fighting for women’s rights, or helping others less fortunate, they are a mighty force to reckon with. Women have the creativity, imagination, and ability to do anything they want.

Below are some picture book biographies that exhibit the strength and tenacity of women with a can-do spirit.

ann cole

Fancy Party Gowns:  The Story of Fashion Designer Ann Cole Lowe written by Deborah Blumenthal and illustrated by Laura Freeman

 

dorthea

Dorthea Lange: The Photographer Who Found the Faces of the Depression written by Carole Boston Weatherford and illustrated by Sarah Green

ada

Ada Lovelace, Poet of Science:  The First Computer Programmer written by Diane Stanley and illustrated by Jessie Hartland

lovelace

Ada Byron Lovelace and the Thinking Machine written by Laurie Wallmark and illustrated by April Chu

Lookup

Look Up!:  Henrietta Leavitt, Pioneering Woman Astronomer  written by Robert Burleigh and illustrated by Raúl Colón

ruth

I Dissent:  Ruth Bader Ginsburg Makes Her Mark written by Debbie Levy and illustrated by Elizabeth Baddeley

Look for these picture book biographies coming out soon.

air

Lighter than Air:  Sophie Blanchard, the First Woman Pilot  written by Matthew Clark Smith and illustrated by Matt Tavares, March 14, 2017

grace

Grace Hopper:  Queen of Computer Code written by Laurie Wallmark and illustrated by Katy Wu, May 16, 2017

warne

Kate Warne:  Pinkerton Detective  written by Marissa Moss and illustrated by April Chu, May 16, 2017

girl

The Girl Who Thought in Pictures:  The Story of Dr. Temple Grandin  written by Julia Finley Mosca and illustrated by Daniel Rieley, August 29, 2017

 


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